Northstar Travel & Associates's Blog

Are you a Bleisure Traveler? Pack these Tips for your next Trip.

Bleisure travel is like a mullet haircut: 'business at the front, party at the back'. It's a new term that has cropped up recently, a portmanteau word combining 'business' and 'leisure' - meaning travelers who attach leisure travel onto a business trip.

This is not new.  And there are many who deny such a 'trend' exists. But there's a new awareness of 'bleisure' travelers and a need to provide those travelers  - with tight schedules and multiple travel agendas - opportunities to enjoy their travels even on a work-related trip.   I say, 'bring it on'.

By: Lynn Elmhirst, executive producer and host, BestTrip.TV

As a travel expert, journalist, TV producer, host and entrepreneur, I lead a busy life, and much of it is on the road.  But I have always taken to heart my Granny's advice to 'stop and smell the roses'.  

Here are my tips for travelers who want to put a little 'party' in their business travel. 

1. Take even a small break.

Some have defined bleisure travelers as those who extend a business trip at least for one Saturday stay on either side (usually the back end) of a business trip. Personally, I feel that's much too narrow. I think bleisure kicks in any time you can carve out some personal time – at the beginning, end or during a business trip. It can be a couple of hours, a couple half-days, or yes, a couple or more days outside your business obligations.

We had an intense filming schedule in Russia that ended up without our crew ever having a full day off. But we did end our filming one day near the famed Hermitage art museum-in-a-palace.  To my surprise, the entire crew – very different ages, backgrounds and interests – all wanted to explore inside.  And that experience – while not as long as many avid art lovers might spend there – became one of our favorite memories of Russia.  If we'd decided we didn't have 'long enough' to 'do it right', we might have missed it altogether.

How could you miss this?  The Grand Staircase entry at the Hermitage.  BestTrip.TV

For some people, just an early morning run or cycle around the city for an hour invigorates and gives them a way to explore their destination.

2. Be open to new experiences.

The top 'bleisure' travel destinations naturally reflect the corporate world.  Especially in Europe, they don't always align perfectly with traditional top holiday travel destinations. Top Bleisure destinations in Europe include Lisbon, Nice, and Istanbul, outranking top leisure destinations of London, Paris, and Rome.

This means you could well end up in a destination that has never been on your travel bucket list.  I call that: opportunity. 

Vespa Tours? Not on my list until I found myself in Tuscany for work.  BestTrip.TV


Some of my favorite and most memorable travel experiences have been ones that I would never have come up with myself, but that I encountered as a result of my work, and they opened my eyes to a whole new way of experiencing life.  

In fact, my very first cruise was for my work, not by my choice!  Two weeks on the Crystal Symphony converted me – no surprise! And now, cruise travel expertise is one of the things I'm best known for!

3. Book ahead.

Commit and pre-pay for your bleisure, and you'll be much more likely to take the break to enjoy your destination rather than letting work consume all your time.  If you know you have a wine tour booked, you'll be much more able to combat your instincts to tell yourself, 'If I stay in my hotel, I could get X done now…', and get out into those vineyards and tasting rooms.

Don't miss out on the vineyards!  BestTrip.TV

Don't make mental half-promises to yourself to enjoy your business destination, make a commitment that your trip will benefit your own life as well as benefiting your business.

Start your Trip!


Looking for something different than your typical beach destination! Barbados has it all, from stunning coastlines , coral reefs , underground lakes and caves to incredible dinning that has something for everyone's palate. Not to be missed is Friday night fish fry at Oistins, here you will be able to order the many different types of fish, such as tuna, swordfish, red snapper, mahi -mahi- and even  flying fish, A wonderful evening filled with live music, dancing and a crafters market.

A visit to Harrison's Cave is a must see, one of Barbados 7 wonders , an underground cave with bubbling streams where stalactites and stalagmites were formed over a thousand years ago.

On my recent trip to Barbados, I did an afternoon catamaran cruise with a company called Cool Runnings, this has to be one of my most memorable moments, the crew of three were the most wonderful of hosts, they took us out to swim with the turtles provided the gear to snorkel out to see a few shipwrecks,  we ended day with a lovely  a dinner and a  beautiful sunset,for a few magical hours all the worries and stress of everyday living are far behind you , that is priceless!

There are many different types of accommodations in Barbados, very popular are villa rentals,self catering apartments and hotels. If you prefer to have an all inclusive resort  there are several hotels with this option,for couples Sandals just opened their first hotel in Barbados this year! 

For more information on Barbados please contact me, I would love to share more with you. or 519 886 9111  



Roman Walls of Lugo The story of the walls begins with the Romans before it is passed on to the Middle Ages and on to the innovations of the 19th century. The wall is a single monument that stretches over a distance of 2 kilometers. It is testimony to the evolvement of the town of Lugo, formerly Lucus Augusti. read more
Historic Centre of Siena Siena’s history is ingrained in the art and architecture that it had influence on in Italy and Europe during the Middle Ages. The city’s historic center has been preserved to a remarkable degree and this makes it one of the hottest tourist destinations in Italy. read more
Canal du Midi - You gotta go here Canal du Midi is one of the most awe-inspiring engineering feats of the modern times. Its creation and completion led to the Industrial Revolution and technological advancement that had hitherto not been dreamed of. The hydraulic civil engineering technology that was mastered during its construction brought about the development of water transport that could only be dreamt of a few years earlier. read more
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Top 5 Adventure Destinations in Costa Rica Costa Rica occupies a pedestal spot in the Central American tourism industry. It is favored by the fact that it is the most stable and democratic country in Central America and also by the fact that it is bordered by two of the most majestic water bodies in the world - the Pacific Ocean to its west coast and the Caribbean Sea to its east coast. It is therefore no wonder that the country is also a hot destination for those seeking adventure. Below are the top adventure destinations in the country. read more
A brief history of New York Today, New York City, a city located on the eastern coast of the United States is home to the headquarters of the United Nations as well as a global power in the fields of commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. But this was not always so. Below is a brief history of the city's metamorphosis from a small trading harbor 650 years ago to a global city today. read more
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10 Interesting facts about the Kashmir Valley Also known as the Vale of Kashmir, Kashmir Valley is located in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir and straddles between Karakoram and the Pir Panjal Range. The valley was created by the Jhelum River. Below are some few interesting facts about the beautiful Valley. read more
Great tours to check out in Dubai At the risk of disturbing the spirits of the dead, Sheikh Maktoum bin Butti Al-Maktoum, the father of the modern Dubai and the forefather of the current ruler of Dubai Rashid bin saeed Al Maktoum, must be a happy man. I am sure he is watching with glee as his once an 800-members Baniyas clan command respect around the world by constructing the tallest skyscrapers and doing booming business in the tourism sector in a region formerly dismissed as unproductive. It seems for the last 50 years, the Arab Bedouin emirate of Dubai has re-engineered itself into one of the hottest tourist circuit in the world. If you are in doubt, why not check out the following tours - we may turn you into a believer of miracles yet... read more
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Embark on a sunset ride in Khan Khentii, Mongolia One of the very best ways to see Mongolia is by horseback. After all, the world's greatest conqueror, Genghis Khan, was an expert horse rider. Khan is said to have been born, and possibly buried in Khan Khentii, Mongolia - making this part of the vast country the idea area for a sunset horseback ride. read more
Tie The Knot In Style At The La Fenice Opera House In Venice Nearly everyone who plans a wedding wants the most lavishly elegant ceremony possible. Much of that elegance comes from the venue at which the ceremony is held. One venue that is sure to impress and make for some amazing wedding memories is the La Fenice Opera House in Venice, Italy. read more
Marvel at the beautiful sights of Salzburg on a cruise on the Salzach Perhaps the most famous news bite about Salzburg is that the 18th century music composition genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born here. However, a closer look at the place gives you memories of the Baroque-style architecture in its old town. In fact, United Nations Scientific, Education and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have named the city's Old Town a World Heritage Site. read more
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Take a quick cooking course while staying in Rio de Janeiro at "Cook in Rio" Rio de Janeiro is the second biggest city in Brazil after Brasilia. It is home to about 11.6 million people. Among these people include the native Latin Americans, the expatriate workers, and remnants of the Portuguese and Spanish who had colonized the country. The city also boasts a host of festivals throughout the year. It is within this mixture of cultures and festivities that the culinary genius of the Brazilian people comes to fore. read more
Riding the gondolas in Venice For Italians, the gondolas that float along the canals in Venice are a tremendous source of national and historical pride. They are a unique symbol of Venetian culture and are one of the most exciting (and romantic) activities for tourists to this eclectic Italian town. read more
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Tour Jamaica on Horseback with Braco Stables Imagine watching the birds and the wildlife in jamaica on a horse back or having the horse swim while you are on its back. Better still experience life in a 300 year old sugar farm. These are experiences that will make your tour to the Caribbean nation stick with you long after you have left. read more
See the Copan Ruins in Honduras In the midst of the jungle there are things that go bump. Or clink. It's okay, it's just the glasses of the people sitting at the next table for dinner. Your mind is still wandering around the ruins looking for intricate hieroglyphs to tell you more about the lives of the people that once inhabited the area. read more
Relax on One of the Dominican Republic's Best Beaches

The Dominican Republic, the surf, the sand, the resorts, the spas; it all sounds too good to be true. It's not! For a romantic getaway, or just a getaway the beaches of the Dominican Republic can be very enticing.

You finally got to take the trip of a lifetime so you head to the Dominican Republic to see what they offer. The good news is: you find yourself taken away by something much better than Calgon. It's those sandy beaches, your drink of choice, and the best spa ever. There are several beaches to chose from. Just close your eyes and point and let your imagination take over from there.

Remember to take along a bathing suit and not much else. There should be no need to change clothes forty times while you are on this particular trip. Pack a sarong, some sandals you wouldn't mind losing in the surf and maybe something to wear at night if the mood strikes you. Leave the phone packed away for most of this trip, unless you are going to take spectacular photos with it.

Take photos of everything, even the sunset, because everything can be spectacular when viewed through a haze of relaxation. Don't leave the adrenalin junkies at home, bring one along so they can enjoy the wind-surfing, para-sailing, kite-surfing, snorkeling and more. Playa Punta Cana is ideal for those travelers who enjoy the finer things in life. Top notch cuisine, rooms and spas are located at Punta Cana.

For a secluded beach go to Playa Bahoruco and spend time lazing around in the sunshine. Take a trip off the beaten path to Playa Cabarete for a little sightseeing and some down time. Progress has not yet landed face first on Playa Cabarete, so go and enjoy.

One of the great things about visiting the Caribbean, other than the sunshine and relaxing beaches are the prices. Most people think going to the Caribbean costs thousands and thousands of dollars. Not true, most flights and hotel packages will not cost over 4,000 USD. So, put the kids college money back into the account, you don't have to empty your IRA just for a trip of a lifetime.

Now it's up to you to choose which of the beaches you favor and want to spend some quality time lying around on. Be safe when traveling. There is so much to do on any of the Dominican beaches you might not want to leave for a while.

When going out of town remember there are certain things you should do. Forward your mail or have someone pick it up so your mailbox will not overflow and your bills go sailing down the street. Also, you might want to remember to have someone feed the pet or kennel the pet. Either way, someone has to watch the other things that live in your house that need to be healthy when you get home. Other than that, have a great time.

Activities For A Rainy Day on Your Vacation Gloomy weather can ruin even the cheeriest moods. Ward off boredom (for both you and your family) with this list of family activities and relaxing ideas when it rains during your vacation. read more
5 Ways to Enjoy the Blue Mountains: Jamaica Its Not always Sun, Sea & Partying in Jamaica. For those who enjoy a rugged trail or scenic vacation, then visiting the Blue Mountains may be the ideal vacation spot for you. Here are 5 activities that you can include in your next trip to Jamaica. read more
Explore the Chianti Region on a Siena and San Gimignano Day Trip Want to see two of Tuscany's most popular attractions? Then check out the Siena and San Gimignano Day Trip in Florence, Italy. On this trip visitors will take a guided tour of Siena, including the famous cathedral and main square and will explore the hilltop of San Gimignano. read more